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Sunday, July 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Braving high temps and burning oil, 19-year-old Ariel Hamilton brings kettle corn to Hoopfest

UPDATED: Sat., June 24, 2017

Ariel Hamilton works her families popcorn booth at Hoopfest 2017. (Drew Gerber / SR)
Ariel Hamilton works her families popcorn booth at Hoopfest 2017. (Drew Gerber / SR)
By Drew Gerber The Spokesman-Review

Equipped with heavy-duty gloves, protective goggles and one big wooden spoon, Ariel Hamilton was ready to pop some corn.

Despite the sunny, 80-degree weather, Hamilton, 19, stood over a large fire-blackened pan throwing in scoops of corn kernels, oil, sugar and salt. Set up under a small tent on the corner of Post Street and Sprague Avenue, Hamilton said she and her family work lots of events – but none is quite like Hoopfest.

She said Hoopfest always brings in interesting people, and there’s always something to see.

“It’s definitely different from other events we do,” Hamilton laughed.

The family business is no easy work. Hamilton, who’s been working behind the hot pan since she was 15 years old, recalled one time when a hot kernel went up her uncle’s nose, which he didn’t notice until it went pop.

“Sometimes you get burnt,” she said matter-of-factly.

Another family member called out as she was handing a customer a bag of kettle corn, saying of Hamilton, “She’s the only one tough enough for the job. She gets in there. The men are afraid to do it!”

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